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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I have a ridiculous problem.

I was able to buy a used ADA Solar 1 for cheap maybe 2 years ago. I never replaced the MH bulb, because I'm not growing anything demanding with it (low-tech pond tank with emersed plants). Well, the time has come and the lamp has burned out. I can get a replacement bulb from Aqua Forest Aquarium for $95, which seems ridiculously high for a bulb they recommend you replace every year. I've found some bulbs that look similar and cost less, does anyone know if they would work the same? Also does anyone know how a 10,000K bulb would look compared to the ADA green bulb?

Finally, someone tell me whether I should just bite the bullet and get a modern light. I love the aesthetics of the Solar 1 but I feel a little crazy for spending so much on bulbs.
 

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Depends on how fussy you are. The "green" halide bulb you linked to is a look specialty bulb.
Being a small market suspect nobodys "pirated" the green spiked bulb. ;)

Any 150 de metal halide that fits will be fine for plants.
All depends on your preferences..
The above bulb is 10,000k..
10,000k bulbs can look very different between brands.
As you will see "10,000K" isn't always 10,000k

There seems to be a production gap between 400k-ish and 10000k or greater..
55-6500k bulbs are really hard to find..

Like these..
ARC150/TD/952/Rx7s-24
ARC150/UVC/AQUA/TD/865/Rx7s-24

Codes for these bulbs 953 is 90cri 5200k and 865 which is 80cri 6500k

Note phased out..

I suspect the Ushio 10,000k special pricing is pointing to it to follow the above pattern soon.
Or may just be overstocked.. Little love in the marine aquarium world.

The $50 will buy you 2 years..

1027538


Hmmm.. I have 2 conflicting sources on the K temp of that bulb (Ushio).
Still both will have a cool cast (not green, not neutral, not warm)

Fortunately high k's in metal halides and tubes is not near as ugly as in LED's.
Long story about mercury spikes ...

See the wall.. ;)

you could try China Direct..
 

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I'm going back aways...but for soft Corals? I used a 150 watt Coralife bulb that was 12k? Something like that and it was the most natural and pleasing to the eye lighting I have ever used. Reds were red,GREENS,were green,blues blue. Im sure if my Caulerpa looked that good,a plant tank in freshwater would too.
I did pay $75 in 1992 dollars.
 

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I'm going back aways...but for soft Corals? I used a 150 watt Coralife bulb that was 12k? Something like that and it was the most natural and pleasing to the eye lighting I have ever used. Reds were red,GREENS,were green,blues blue. Im sure if my Caulerpa looked that good,a plant tank in freshwater would too.
I did pay $75 in 1992 dollars.
Easy to explain though a word of caution 14oook is an "average" so again not all 14000k (or any K group) will look the same, sometimes not even close.
1027539
 

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I love the aesthetics of the Solar 1 but I feel a little crazy for spending so much on bulbs.
I've already spent too much time on a tech I have no desire for.. ;)
But a last word..
IF your aesthetics include the "'color" as is you have no choice really..
IF you want close you need to find a RGB LED which "leans" green..

ACTUALLY since Chihiros just sort of did a marketing screw up you might just find them a suitable alternative though it leans cyan (blue/green) more than green but much closer to the ADA Green than most LEDs when run full (color adjustable are of course, adjustable).
Matching your high tech output (150W) may be an issue.
Would need to know a bit more about your set up.
The MH's a bit more focused than the 120 degree leds so height is an issue here.
There are LED "spots" that meet or exceed your current output/spread but cost becomes a factor.

Around $800.. but w/ custom reflectors and diodes (you can closely match your green mh) you could grow a swamp.. ;)
Kind of 1/2 serious here..

i've made LED's that spectrally look pretty much like the ADA bulb.
1027540

1027541

and maybe even better.. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Depends on how fussy you are. The "green" halide bulb you linked to is a look specialty bulb.
Being a small market suspect nobodys "pirated" the green spiked bulb. ;)

Any 150 de metal halide that fits will be fine for plants.
All depends on your preferences..
The above bulb is 10,000k..
10,000k bulbs can look very different between brands.
As you will see "10,000K" isn't always 10,000k

There seems to be a production gap between 400k-ish and 10000k or greater..
55-6500k bulbs are really hard to find..

Like these..
ARC150/TD/952/Rx7s-24
ARC150/UVC/AQUA/TD/865/Rx7s-24

Codes for these bulbs 953 is 90cri 5200k and 865 which is 80cri 6500k

Note phased out..

I suspect the Ushio 10,000k special pricing is pointing to it to follow the above pattern soon.
Or may just be overstocked.. Little love in the marine aquarium world.

The $50 will buy you 2 years..

View attachment 1027538

Hmmm.. I have 2 conflicting sources on the K temp of that bulb (Ushio).
Still both will have a cool cast (not green, not neutral, not warm)

Fortunately high k's in metal halides and tubes is not near as ugly as in LED's.
Long story about mercury spikes ...

See the wall.. ;)

you could try China Direct..
I genuinely appreciate all the advice, by the time I started keeping aquariums metal halide was already on the way out so I have no understanding of how they work.

This picture is going to look lame since I'm still stocking the emerged portion, but this is the tank it's for. No CO2 so I'm not looking for crazy power, but I'd like to stock the top with some larger plants.

I like the look of that "Ushio" bulb, I wasn't sure if it would make the tank look super blue but it looks like it has great CRI.


Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
 

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I genuinely appreciate all the advice, by the time I started keeping aquariums metal halide was already on the way out so I have no understanding of how they work.

This picture is going to look lame since I'm still stocking the emerged portion, but this is the tank it's for. No CO2 so I'm not looking for crazy power, but I'd like to stock the top with some larger plants.

I like the look of that "Ushio" bulb, I wasn't sure if it would make the tank look super blue but it looks like it has great CRI.

Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
Yea think you will be fine.. for now :)

One really good thing about led's is they are much easier to focus.
That does do 2 things.. Allows the use of less power (combined w/ some higher efficiency diode) which can be significant and
2) less light pollution.

Out of curiosity what is the distance from the water line to the light face?

Anyways some stats ..
LT-USHIO-HQI-150-10K 90 CRi 7000 lumens 6000 hours m81 ballast recommended (needed?)
LED "competitor bulb"..
L2C5-FS001211E1900
95CRI, 5130 lumens at 1.2A 34.8V >20000hr lifespan only 41.76 Watts
Add reflector..

A project for the future.. ;)
 

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I'd switch to LED just because they run cooler and use less electricity. I've been extremely happy with chihiros wrgb 2 but a lot of people like kessel. Also you want a plant light not a coral light...
 

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Metal Halide is the least efficient light cost wise,but it grows things best. Why pot growers use it. I remember that the bulb also creates high heat and warped the plexiglass cover for the aquarium.
So the ADA Solars are metal halide? I thought so- but it's never mentioned. None of the scapers in youtube bring up that important fact. I know once somebody in comments mentioned that the ADA halide wasn't bringing out the best colors and so they added some kind of bulb,LED or Fluorescent with more color that was needed,red or blue I don't think they mentioned what was missing. I mean,MH combined with color accentuators is probably best light in the world..and $$$$ all the way around. Then,add the yearly cost - or more often of a replacement bulb,replacement transformer /ballast if it goes out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'd switch to LED just because they run cooler and use less electricity. I've been extremely happy with chihiros wrgb 2 but a lot of people like kessel. Also you want a plant light not a coral light...
I have a Chihiros WRGB on my high-tech tank, so that is a definite option. I want a pendulum-style light for this one, since the goal is to have it suspended high above the tank.. I thought about Kessils or AI Primes but given how high the ceiling is I think they would be prone to swinging around a bunch.

Light is light for the most part, plants don't really care if you use a "coral" light on them. They'll photosynthesize just the same. The main issue is whether your plants are going to look good. I'm hoping that since 10,000K is roughly "blue sky daylight" color it will show off the plants well. As @jeffkrol said, not all lights of the same color temperature look the same, so it is a bit of risk.

Metal Halide is the least efficient light cost wise,but it grows things best. Why pot growers use it. I remember that the bulb also creates high heat and warped the plexiglass cover for the aquarium.
So the ADA Solars are metal halide? I thought so- but it's never mentioned. None of the scapers in youtube bring up that important fact.
The ADA Solar 1's and Grand Solar line have metal halides or metal halide in conjunction with fluorescent lamps. The new Solar RGB (the $900 one) is all LED's.

I replaced the stock ballast as it was kinda noisy. This one should have plenty of life left in it. If it does die, it's probably time for me to go another route.
 
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